What is a Diarrhea in Cats?
What is it?
How is it Treated?
Milo, a playful Siamese cat, had always been the epitome of feline health and energy for his owner, Lisa. But when Milo suddenly started experiencing diarrhea, Lisa grew concerned about her furry friend’s well-being. Eager to find answers, she took Milo to the veterinarian for a thorough evaluation.
Diarrhea in cats is one of the most common health issues. Diarrhea is when your cat’s stool is in large amounts of watery fluid (usually loose) that pass through your cat’s intestines that are sickly.
It usually happens when your cat eats something that causes inflammation of your stomach lining or intestine. Most cases of acute diarrhea resolve within 24 hours without treatment. Here are some valuable options if you have determined that it will likely be ok to try and “ride out” your cat’s diarrhea for 24 to 36 hours. However, chronic diarrhea can persist for weeks or even months. In some cases, it requires medical attention.
There are two types of diarrhea acute and chronic diarrhea.
Diarrhea is one of the most common complaints seen in veterinary practices. Acute diarrhea accounts for about 20% of visits to veterinarians. Most cases are due to infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and protozoa. Other causes include inflammatory bowel disease, neoplasia, foreign body ingestion, obstruction, toxin exposure, and drug toxicity.
This happens when there is no apparent cause for it. A veterinarian can help determine whether your cat has a medical problem. If he does not, the next step is to rule out environmental factors such as food allergies. The most common reason cats develop chronic diarrhea is because of an underlying health issue.
These include kidney disease, liver problems, intestinal parasites, and bacterial infections. Other conditions leading to chronic diarrhea include diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and heart failure. If your cat has been eating well and drinking water, your vet may want to check him for signs of infection.
What Causes of Cat Diarrhea?
Cats usually don’t suffer from diarrhea unless they are sick or stressed. However, if your cat has diarrhea, it may indicate another problem, such as kidney failure, liver disease, intestinal blockage, or urinary tract infection.
In addition, diarrhea can cause dehydration, leading to weakness and fatigue. If left untreated, diarrhea can lead to life-threatening conditions such as shock and death.
There are several cases of diarrhea in cats. Some of these include:
- External parasites are harmful organisms living inside our cat’s bodies. They feed off us and use up our energy without giving anything back. Parasites are usually found in warm climates where they thrive.
- Bacteria are microscopic organisms that live everywhere on Earth. They are found in soil, water, air, food, and even inside animals and humans. There are many different types of bacteria, including viruses, fungi, protozoa, archaea, and algae. Some bacteria cause disease, while others help plants grow and decompose organic matter.
- Food poisoning (also known as foodborne illness) is caused by eating contaminated foods or beverages. It is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, nausea, and sometimes blood in the stool. The symptoms usually appear 12–48 hours after exposure to the toxin and last up to 10 days.
- Viruses are tiny organisms that infect cells. Unfortunately, this virus has a high fatality rate, and cats who get it usually die within three years. Almost 85 percent of them do so. Cats can become infected with viruses through contact with contaminated feces, urine, saliva, or mucus. Viral infections can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and death.
Signs a Cat has Diarrhea.
Red or Bloody Diarrhea Is usual among felines. Most cases are due to an infection such as giardia or feline leukemia virus. Other causes include food poisoning, kidney disease, intestinal parasites, pancreatitis, liver problems, and cancer. Contact your veterinarian immediately if blood is mixed into your cat’s stool.
Yellow cat Diarrhea is prevalent. It affects up to 80% of domestic cats. However, certain types of diarrhea require immediate veterinary attention. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice yellow or green diarrhea in your cat.
Diarrhea is a common problem among cats, especially young ones. Fortunately, it’s easy to spot signs it’s diarrhea in cats. Usually, vomiting is absent, but 30% of cats will have vomiting.
Here are some symptoms to look out for:
- Frequent urination
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth and tongue
What are Treatments for Cats with Diarrhea
Nutrition plays a significant role in treating diarrhea. If your cat eats a well-balanced diet, it will likely experience fewer bouts of diarrhea. For example, fiber is important because it helps keep stools soft and bulky. Other nutrients include vitamins B6, D3, E, and K, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid, choline, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, iodine, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, iron, and omega three fatty acids.
- Antibiotic therapy is typically used to resolve diarrhea. Antibiotics kill off harmful bacteria while leaving beneficial ones alone. Unfortunately, antibiotic treatment does not always work and sometimes causes side effects.
- Probiotics help treat gastrointestinal disorders. Probiotics contain healthy bacteria that help maintain a balanced gut microbiome. These bacteria can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and help restore normal bowel function.
- Anti-diarrheal medication is another option for treating diarrhea. Antidiarrheals relieve symptoms by reducing intestinal motility and fluid secretion. Common anti-diarrheal include loperamide, diphenoxylate, codeine, and bismuth subsalicylate.
- Dietary changes are another effective method for treating diarrhea. Changing the diet can eliminate certain foods that trigger diarrhea. Foods commonly cause diarrhea include dairy products, wheat, corn, citrus fruits, beans, peas, and other legumes.
Prevention Tips for Diarrhea in Cats
The most important thing is to keep your pet hydrated. Cats drink less water than dogs, so ensure he gets plenty of fluids. You can give him special treats like wet food or boiled chicken broth. These foods are high in moisture and low in fat, making them ideal for treating diarrhea.
Suppose your cat isn’t drinking enough water, trusting a few drops of liquid paraffin to his diet. This helps coat his stomach lining and minimize the amount of fluid he loses during bowel movements.
Consider giving your cat a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are live bacteria that help maintain a healthy digestive system. It’s essential to keep your pet’s digestive system in good shape to have an active immune system. They’re often given to people with gastrointestinal problems but could benefit your kitty too.
Finally, remember environmental factors. A change in temperature, humidity, or air quality can cause your cat’s tummy to become irritated. Try keeping windows closed and turning off fans and heating systems.
Frequently Asked Question
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